Fish Radio
August 14, 2013               Marketing more than salmon at Bristol Bay, Copper River

Beth Poole, Marketing Director, Bristol Bay RSDA Credit: copperrivermarketing.org

Beth Poole, Marketing Director, Bristol Bay RSDA
Credit: copperrivermarketing.org

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch — They’re marketing much more than salmon at Bristol Bay and Copper River.  More after this –

The At-sea Processors Association’s contributions to Alaskan universities represent the largest privately funded marine research program in Alaska’s history. Learn more at  www.atsea.org

 Federal grants are available to help “Made in America” companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at www.nwtaac.org.

 

When over 18-hundred Bristol Bay salmon fishermen first formed and funded a state-sanctioned Regional Seafood Development Association (RSDA), they had one main goal: to improve the quality of Bay fish.   Six years later, they are well on their way to achieving that, and they are now putting some of their money into marketing.  This summer over 32-hundred US retailers are running Bristol Bay salmon promotions, as well as chefs.  

 We had over 80 restaurants across the country hosting events ongoing dinners to promote Bristol Bay sockeye  salmon.   So that’s very exciting. 

Beth Poole, formerly of Cordova, got things going this summer as the group’s first marketing director.  She says people want to know where their fish comes from, but the  message goes well beyond their plates –  

 The goal of the dinner series is to have people know about Bristol Bay –the fishermen, the jobs, all of the family businesses that are working hard to provide this wonderful resource, and then some of the threats that are happening with Pebble Mine so they can take action when the time comes.   

A goal of the outreach is to show the connection between sustainable salmon and sustainable jobs.

 This is what it all comes back to for the fishermen. This organization is funded by fishermen and it’s about them being able to do their job and harvest this wonderful resource. So it’s an important connection to make that consumers know that it’s not necessarily a big company that is benefitting – that it does get down to the individual fishermen and their small businesses that need to be sustained into the future.  

Back in Cordova, Kim Ryals is the new marketing whiz for the fishermen-funded RSDA at Copper River/Prince William Sound.                            

Kim Ryals, Marketing Director, Copper River/PWS  RSDA Credit: Trout Unlimited

Kim Ryals, Marketing Director, Copper River/PWS RSDA
Credit: Trout Unlimited

 Between my fisheries knowledge and non profit, grassroots organizational development, membership and family food marketing, I feel like it was a really good fit to come up here to Cordova and work with this fleet.   

Ryals just wrapped up a week long, total immersion salmon tour with six Outside food writers. She agrees that sustaining the fishing lifestyle is the take home message.     

  So people not only know that wild Alaska salmon is so good and good for you and sustainably managed, but on the other end of the line is a real person with real hands putting a lot on the line to go out and get this fish for your table.   

 Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. (www.oceanbeauty.com) In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.

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